Maria Pauline asked what my favorite bread recipes were, so I thought I'd share them with you all.
The first one I'll share is the recipe for bread that I use most often. I make this about once-a-week, and when it's fresh it usually goes pretty quickly! What's left over we use for sandwiches and toast. Mrs. Hart shared this recipe with me a while ago, and it's worked wonderfully since then!
1 1/2 cups hot water
1 cup milk
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup honey
5 tsp. instant yeast
2 TBSP wheat gluten (optional, but improves texture)
6 to 7 1/4 cups flour (I use mostly fresh-ground wheat flour, with some unbleached white to make a good consistency)
1 TBSP salt
Combine first 5 ingredients. Add yeast, gluten, and 5 cups of flour. Add the salt, then continue to mix adding the flour 1/2 cup at a time.
Knead until you think it's ready (dough will be pretty smooth and elastic and just feel right). Let rise until double (around 1 hour). After rising, form into loaves or other shapes (rolls, bread braids, etc.).
Place in a greased loaf pan. Let rise until at least double in size. (I heat the oven to 150* then turn in off, placing the pans inside the nice warm space. The loaves rise nicely, taking about 30 minutes). Bake loaves at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Makes about 3 large sized loaves.
You can add different things to this bread to make it taste even yummier! Sometimes I'll put in leftover oatmeal from breakfast, or a few TBSP of a 7-grain cereal mix. It also works well for making cinnamon raisin bread by rolling it flat, spreading it with melted butter, sprinkling on sugar, cinnamon, and raisins, and rolling up jelly-roll style then placing in a loaf pan.
Although sometimes I make rolls out of the above recipe, I also enjoy finding and trying out other roll recipes. To me, bread/rolls/biscuits are one of the yummiest parts of the meal. I don't always make some to go along with different meals, but when I can I enjoy making them.
One of my favorites I found a while ago on A Heart of Praise's Blog. When I tried Herb Dinner Rolls, they were an instant favorite in my family. I've made them quite a few times since, and everyone who tries them really enjoys them. So, I definitely suggest you click the link and try them out!
Another roll I tried recently was Pumpkin Dinner Rolls from Tammy's Recipes. I've only made them once so far, but the first time they were delicious! I had to only make half of a batch, because there's not many of us at home anymore, and we still had quite a lot leftover. Or, you could make a whole batch, and freeze the leftovers for a quick roll for subsequent meals. By the way, Tammy's Recipes is great place to find recipes. I've found quite a few just today that I can't wait to try!
Before I go, I thought I'd share a very quick pizza dough recipe I found in our Set for Life cookbook. I used to make pizza dough using a recipe you had to knead twice and let rise twice. It wasn't too hard, but you had to plan quick enough ahead to get the dough rising. This one you only have to let rise for 5 minutes, and we've found that it tastes the same as the other recipe. Plus, it's easier to make, so I'm all for it! =)
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (may substitute some white if prefer)
1 TBSP sugar
1 TBSP dry yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup comfortably hot water
2 TBSP oil
Mix 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Add water and oil; mix well. Add remaining flour as needed to make a soft dough. Knead 5 minutes; let dough rest 5 minutes. Use a pizza roller to roll dough about 1/4-inch thick on a lightly greased heavy pizza pan or baking sheet. To prevent soggy crust (which I do!), prebake at 500* for 3-4 minutes, just until puffed but not brown. After prebaking, spread dough with sauce and add desired toppings (we usually use cheddar and mozzarella cheese, cooked turkey bacon or ground beef, and onions and green peppers for those who like them). Bake in a 500* oven for 10-12 minutes for a large pizza or 5-7 minutes for a medium or small pizza.
This makes one large pizza, but usually I double the recipe and make two. That way if other people are over we have plenty, and leftover pizza is always good! Last week I made pizza pockets using the dough, and they turned out really yummy! Just roll small portions of dough flat, spread with sauce and toppings, then fold ends in envelope style. Bake until lightly browned.
*Note* All of these recipes are to me, pretty easy. However, I have been making bread for quite some time now, and if you're just beginning, the recipes may seem hard at first. After making it for a while though, you'll start working quicker and they won't seem as hard!